Prince of Broadway, the upcoming Broadway production that features words and music from many of director and producer Harold Prince’s shows, has a completely brand new song or two.
Jason Robert Brown, who provides musical supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations for Prince of Broadway, also is writing a new opening number. A lot has changed since the show premiered in Tokyo, Japan, in October 2015, including Brown’s material. (Playbill reported in 2015 that Brown’s original song “Wait ’Til You See What’s Next” closed the show.) Watch the 2015 press day musical preview below, including Brown’s tune.
“Jason Robert Brown wrote a [new] opening, which will bookend the show and is extraordinary,” Prince recently told Playbill.com by phone. “But it’s not necessarily what you predictably think. It’s very much about what a director does and what the life of a director is. He took it quite seriously, and I think it’s wildly exciting.”
Prince explained that, in order to write the song, Brown sat down with Prince and asked him to recount his theatrical career as a director and a producer, which spans over 60 years. The piece will open the show and be reprised at the end of the evening.
“I took him through everything from the moment I got interested in theatre through the traumas…through my first job, how I got it, through the [George] Abbott years, which were thrilling,” Prince explains.
“Interestingly enough, he introduced it the other night at [the Greenwich Village club] SubCulture, and my wife and daughter were there, but I wasn’t. He said, ‘I’m going to play an opening that Hal hasn’t even heard yet,’ and he did. My wife came home and said, ‘Hal, if you don’t like it, I’m leaving you.’ I thought it was simply the most extraordinary piece of material I’ve heard in years. I’m very excited.”
Prince of Broadway begins rehearsals the first week in July. It will start previews August 3 prior to an August 24 opening night at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Prince added that a lot is changing because the text was in Japanese, and he “fiddles” with it all the time. “Then there’s some recasting,” he says, “which is fun, and I think we’ve made a lot of improvements. It’s going to be a different show from the one in Tokyo, but that’s why you do these things. Now you’re going to have to wait and see.”